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US ‘threatening’ Africa over ties with Russia – defense minister

RT | January 10, 2023

Relations between Washington and Pretoria have become strained after a Russian cargo ship visited South Africa’s largest naval base last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The country’s defense minister said the US had been pressuring African nations over any links with Moscow, according to the outlet.

Washington is “concerned by the support the South African Armed Forces provided to the ‘Lady R’,” a senior US official told the WSJ, referring to a Russian vessel that was sanctioned in May over its alleged involvement in arms shipments for Moscow.

In early December, the ship was allowed to enter Simon’s Town navy base with its transponders turned off and freely move cargo there, the report claimed. “There is no publicly available information on the source of the containers that were loaded onto the ‘Lady R’,” the official said.

The outlet cited comments made by South African Defense Minister Thandi Modise last month regarding the visit of ‘Lady R’. She declined to reveal what cargo the ship was carrying, only saying that “whatever contents this vessel was getting were ordered long before Covid,” which emerged in late 2019.

Washington “threatens Africa, not just South Africa, of having anything that is even smelling of Russia,” Modise said, as quoted by the WSJ.

The article noted that, under the US law, Washington can place sanctions on any entity that provides services to a black-listed ship.

Darren Olivier, who heads African Defense Review consulting company, told the outlet it was plausible that the ‘Lady R’ was bringing an old order of Russian ammunition to South Africa. Moscow and Pretoria agreed a shipment of 4.5 million rounds of Russian ammunition worth around $585,000 back in 2020, he said.

As for what was loaded on the ship, Olivier pointed out that “South Africa’s defense industry does not generally produce armaments and complete systems that are used by the Russian military.” However, he said Moscow could be interested in dual-use items, including guidance systems and optics for aerial drones.

According to the senior US official, who spoke to the WSJ, the US embassy warned Pretoria in November that a sanctioned vessel was about to arrive in the country, but the South African authorities did not respond. The events surrounding ‘Lady R’ demonstrate the “difficulty” of implementing sanctions on Russia for the US and its allies, the article noted.

January 10, 2023 - Posted by | Economics | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. If it were not for a nuclear arsenal and mighty military the US would be nothing more than a snarling paper tiger. Americans stood by and watched for years as its real strength of scientific and technological potential, was negotiated away by Kissinger at GATT and WTO. Through Kissinger’s actions and the duplicity of Congress, the great cities of Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo, Pittsburg, and Rochester NY, which were once robust centers of machine tool design, manufacturing, and industry, would become home to poverty, homelessness, drugs, and lost hope.

    Today the US acts as though it is the muscle of a mafia family, performing strong-arm tactics against other countries on behalf of financial syndicates located in the City of London and Wall Street.

    After the collapse of the USSR, Russia, under Putin, wanted only to be treated as an equal in world affairs. Little did he know that the post-Soviet era was to be determined by new rules that forbade Russian greatness. And so, it was only a matter of time for powerful financial interests to maneuver NATO into position 1000 km to Russia’s borders before the US/UK could show their hand. Which they did in 2014, sponsoring a US coup d’etat in Ukraine. For the next eight years, Putin did no more than protest, hoping someone on the other side would respond to his demands for security guarantees, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. You see, NATO’s anvil had spent those eight years shaping Ukraine’s military to fight a hot war against Russia as NATO’s proxy.

    To what end? Russia did not buckle under sanctions. It has held back from fighting all-out war against Ukraine for Ukraine’s sake, not it’s own. But the dummies at NATO and in the Biden Administration are obsessed with defeating Russia on the battlefield. They keep escalating the war, sending more advanced weapons after the previous ones didn’t do the job. We are fast approaching such a time that Russia will no longer wait for sane people on the other side to step up to end the debacle. Because they realize now that there aren’t any. There is no one to talk to they can trust. Merkel and Holland proved it when they exposed the real intentions of the Minsk accords as a delaying tactic until Ukraine was well-armed by NATO. With no one to negotiate, certainly, no one in Ukraine or NATO. And with no one they can trust in the EU or US, what is left, but to destroy Ukraine? Putin and the Russian high command are fully aware NATO would be in enough of a desperate position that it may use nuclear weapons. They understand that and they are ready for such a contingency. Nuclear war is now inevitable. It will take a miracle to prevent it.

    Like

    Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | January 11, 2023 | Reply


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